3. “Murder in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
The original story, titled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” introduces us to a man named C. Auguste Dupin, who solves the titular mystery. In the show, he takes the place of the unnamed narrator from “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Notably, Dupin precedes fictional detective Sherlock Holmes by almost 50 years.
The story, told again by an unnamed narrator, recounts his meeting with Dupin and how they learn of the murders of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter Camille. The two were found maimed, with the mother’s body in their home’s backyard and Camille’s stuffed up a chimney. The murders occurred in a fourth-floor, locked room.
Following the clues, Dupin deduces that the women were murdered not by a man but by an “Ourang-Outang.” In today’s parlance, of course, that’s an orangutan, which a sailor had brought back from Borneo. This is a pretty early example of a whodunit mystery, featuring an investigator specifically employing logic and reasoning to solve a mysterious crime.
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